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Digital, Product, Service
How might we reduce the anxiety of carers & patients caused by wandering events?
For those caring for someone with dementia, one of the biggest problems they will face is wandering: a common side effect of the disease. This causes massive anxiety to the carer and risk to the patient. There are 44 million people living with dementia worldwide and this number is set double every 20 years.
The Proximity Button is a small wearable worn by dementia patients that emits radio signals to an app on their carer’s phone. When the patient wanders, the signal is lost and the phone alarms to warn the carer. The Button tackles the problem simply and effectively giving carers confidence and peace of mind.
The button’s industrial design is simple and discreet. Lightweight but resilient, it snaps onto the patient’s top with an innovative magnetised fastening and rests flush on their collar bone: its ultra-small body doesn’t distress or distract the wearer.
We developed a proximity sensing algorithm optimised for wandering. It’s insensitive to chaotic changes in signal strength but responds quickly to wandering events. This product uses BLE beacons which emit a low-power, high-frequency radio signal; informing carers when 'line of sight' is broken.
The majority of carers were seen to be inexperienced app users, and confusion when using the Proximity Care app would only add to the stress and anxiety they experienced when their patient wandered. A simple and intuitive app interface is complemented by a step by step tutorial, big and bold action buttons, and easy pairing instructions.
The Proximity Button and its accompanying app tackles the problem of wandering simply and effectively, giving carers confidence and peace of mind, with minimal invasion on the patient's own behaviour.